Imogene—Homily Starter for December 28, 2013
"Today is the feast of the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. In the reading from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he gives an exhortation on holiness. It is a joy to notice that the reading re-translated in the inclusive language of our modern culture and MMOJ. Paul’s exhortation for the morals of the home and household previously read, “Wives, give way to your husbands as you should in the Lord.” The inclusive translation says, “You who are in relationships, be submissive to each other. Lovers, love each other. Avoid bitterness. And if you are responsible for children, do not nag them, lest they lose heart.”
I have often wondered about being and becoming holy, as you no doubt also have wondered. Surely it is a quality of Jesus’ family, but it is also an expectation of each of us. God’s love indeed clothes us in compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness. The strength of that love can create holiness in each of us, but we know with certainty that becoming and being holy is not automatic. Being human includes sharing joy and also making mistakes and alienating others.
Ira Byock, an MD with 30 years of hospice work, in his book, 4 things that matter most: a book about living, prescribes 4 healing sentences for everyday life: Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. The simplicity is deceiving. The ideal is amazing.
I clearly remember a young hospice nurse talking with a dying woman’s spouse. “Your wife is sedated, and yet she is restless and moaning. Are you aware of any unresolved issues that she could be worried about?” “Oh, yes,” he said. “She and our pastor had a falling out 3 weeks ago. It has had a very negative impact on her.” Together they agreed that a healing visit from the pastor could make a difference for all of them.—Please forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.
Dr. Imogene Rigdon, Homily Starter/Holy Family Sunday/Dec 28,2013)
|Dr. Imogene and Micahel Rigdon, Married Priest Couple/Presiders|